(Matthew 8:23-27 AMP- And after HE got into the boat, HIS disciples followed HIM. And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but HE was sleeping. And they went and awakened HIM, saying, LORD, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! And HE said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then HE got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm; a perfect peaceableness. And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marveled, saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey HIM!)
Yesterday during my daily morning prayer time it felt as if the thunder from the storm literally shook the earth around me. As a little girl, I can remember running to hide in the hallway closet of my childhood home every time a storm would come because for some reason I was deathly afraid of storms and I just felt safe there. Growing up that dark, small space had somehow become my place of refuge through every storm.
I have no idea why, but I had always been afraid of storms every since I was a very small child which was always funny to my family and friends, especially as I became an adult. But in deeply seeking GOD, building a relationship with HIM, and trusting in HIM with my life and not just with storm-related fears, but with my life in general, I haven’t been fearful of it storming in many years. What I felt yesterday was much different than the fear that always struck my heart like lightning during those storms that terrified me as a little girl.
Long before the storm had come yesterday, I was already in the closet. You see as an adult, the closet is very much so still my safe place. However, it has nothing to do with thunderstorms, but “lifestorms” instead.
My closet has become a very sacred place; a place very near and dear to my heart because it’s the place that I have the pleasure and privilege of intimately meeting with THE LORD every single morning. It’s a place where it’s just HE and I. It’s the one place where I can put my fears, worries, and concerns to death which allows my dreams, hopes, and the deepest desires of my heart to be resurrected providing them this everlasting life within me. It’s that place where HIS PRESENCE always seems to amply abound— and in HIS PRESENCE, it is there that I find true love, peace, strength, comfort, encouragement, inspiration, wisdom, understanding, purpose, and joy. (Psalm 16:11 CEV- YOU have shown me the path to LIFE, and YOU make me glad by being near to me. Sitting at YOUR right side, I will always be joyful.)
Yesterday, in the midst of that storm and as the thunder rattled and uproariously rumbled around me there wasn’t even the slightest notion of fear. In fact, I smiled as I felt the peace of HIS HOLY SPIRIT fill and consume my heart. (John 14:26-27 AMP- THE COMFORTER; COUNSELOR, HELPER, INTERCESSOR, ADVOCATE, STRENGTHENER, STANDBY— THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM THE FATHER will send in MY name [in MY place, to represent ME and act on MY behalf], HE will teach you all things. And HE will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; MY own peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.)
I find it amazing that even the faintest whisper of HIS voice speaking to my heart roared so much louder than the thunder from the storm ever could. And as I began to reflect upon that, I came to the realization that even as a little girl who didn’t fully understand what it meant to be in THE PRESENCE of THE LORD or able to conceptualize what it meant to hear HIS voice— there in that dark, small space— HE was always with me. And in HIM being the all-knowing phenomenal GOD that HE is, HE knew that many years later yesterday’s storm would come and as I basked in ambiance of HIS PRESENCE HE would be able to remind me and bring to my remembrance that even as a very small child with no clear knowledge or understanding of what it meant to find peace in HIM, HE was there providing it anyway simply because I belonged to HIM, HE loves me, and knew my need for it. (Philippians 4:19 NIRV- My GOD will meet all your needs. HE will meet them in keeping with HIS wonderful riches. These riches come to you because you belong to CHRIST JESUS.)
What yesterday’s storm and today’s focal passage reminded me of is— our GOD has the power to calm any and every storm. Whether it’s a thunderstorm rattling the world around us or a lifestorm rattling and wrecking the walls of our hearts, each can be calmed, stilled, and brought to perfect peace in HIS PRESENCE. So today, I just want to encourage you to find a place where you can intimately and privately seek GOD’S PRESENCE because when you call on the name of our GOD, HE will lovingly and altruistically come. (James 4:8 NLT- Come close to GOD, and GOD will come close to you.)
HE loves you with this unconditional, everlasting, all-consuming, amazing, incomparable, eternal love and HE’S waiting to hear your voice. In your secret place, HE’S waiting to hold you in HIS arms so HE can whisper to your heart to quiet and calm your every storm. Wherever your storms may rage, trust that HIS voice can and will bring you unspeakable and indescribable love, peace, and comfort just as JESUS had done on the boat with HIS disciples that day and just as HIS HOLY SPIRIT has done with me within the walls of my prayer closet for all of these years.
HEAVENLY FATHER, for every person reading this touch and speak to their hearts like only you can. LORD, in YOUR PRESENCE bestow upon them YOUR love, joy, peace, and strength. Open the ears of their hearts allowing the calming, LIFE-giving whisper of YOUR voice to always roar louder than the thunder within their storms. LORD, never leave them. Be with them always because I know that wherever YOU are there is perfect peace and I want that for each and every one of their hearts. In the name of JESUS CHRIST, YOUR precious SON, and our LORD and SAVIOR— I pray, Amen and so be it.
“When you don’t have the words to say HE hears your heart. When you feel like no one understands HE carries your pain. When hope seems lost GOD whispers “Joy is coming.” ~ Rachel Hamilton
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